The Splash Heard 'Round the World / by Joanne Jordan

Kansas City Star

Kansas City Star

If you have logged into Facebook recently, there is no doubt your newsfeed is drenched [no pun intended;)] with videos of friends and family dousing themselves with ice water. The #IceBucketChallenge, as it is called, is a social media campaign that was put in place to help raise awareness for ALS, a disease of the nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord that control voluntary muscle movement. If nominated, you have 24 hours to soak yourself with ice-cold water or donate $100 to the ALS Association.

Now while many believe that awareness can only go so far, we as PR professionals know that creating a buzz around your brand is the key to success. And for ALS, its proof of success is not just in word of mouth, but in the numbers as well.

In 2013, from July 29th- August 7th, ALS raised $14,480. This year, during the same ten-day period, ALS raised close to $160,000.

This viral campaign is proof that social media is truly the wave of the future and the quickest way to get the word out. It is important to understand that when people are talking about your brand, ROI is almost an inevitable by-product.  So if your business is in need of a pick-me-up, you should probably just throw a bucket of ice water on your head and post it to Facebook. I mean, what’s the worst that can happen?